The Key to Closing More Sales (Without Feeling Salesy)

Donald Miller

Published: Apr 19, 2024

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Selling makes most of us feel uncomfortable. But here's the reality people love to buy things. They just hate feeling sold.

So how can you make your customers excited to buy from you instead of feeling like they're being manipulated into purchasing something they don't need?

It all starts with inviting your customers into a story. Let me explain.

Every person responds to story because they’re living in one where they are the hero.

Your customers have dreams, goals, and desires which they believe will make their lives better. Maybe they want a beautiful, organized home or to celebrate a special occasion with a delicious meal.

But they're facing a problem that is keeping them from the things they want, which is why they're looking for a product or service that can help.

Our role as business owners and sales reps is to help them identify a problem they're facing that our products or services can help solve.

(A quick aside — if our customers have a problem that we can't solve, it's our responsibility to be honest with them and tell them that we aren't the right fit.)

But when your prospective customer does have a problem your business can solve, now it's time to help them understand what's at stake. 

Their story is heading toward a happily ever after or a sad ending. If we don't help them understand what those endings might be, they'll lose interest in what we have to offer.

If we sell good products, we can actually provide a happy ending to a story our customers are living.

For example, if you own a lawn care company, in addition to a beautiful yard, you can give your customers more time to spend with their families instead of mowing the yard while sweating buckets. 

No matter what you offer, you need to talk about the problem your customer is facing and how your product or service will make their life better.

The number one mistake business owners and salespeople make, though, is they focus too heavily on the features and benefits of their products rather than the results (or happily ever after) their customers will experience.

And while features and benefits are certainly important, they're not what makes customers pull out their wallets. 

Always remember, people buy results, not features.

The car we are selling might have power windows, which is a feature. But customers don’t buy power windows, they buy the result, which is feeling the wind in their hair without having to reach across the seat to roll a window down.

They don’t care that the weed-eater has an auto-adjusting line, they only care that they don’t have to bang the head of their weed eater against the sidewalk all the time.

One of my favorite examples comes from former Harvard Business School professor, Theodore Levitt. He famously said:

"People don't want to buy a quarter-inch drill bit. They want a quarter-inch hole."

To take it a step further, people don't actually want a quarter-inch hole. But they need one because they want to hang family pictures on their wall. 

In our emails and on our sales calls, then, we need to describe the results our customers will experience when they use our products.

  • What problem does your product solve for them?
  • What will their life look like once they've solved it? 
  • How will they feel?

(Not sure how to turn these questions into a script you can use in any sales interaction? Use our free SalesScript tool inside the Business Made Simple Flight Plan and we'll help you create powerful sales messaging that closes more deals.)

When you start inviting your customers into a story, your customer will understand why they need your product and you'll close more sales. 

SalesScript in Flight Plan

Once you've written your SalesScript, you can send it immediately as an email to your leads, or start using it in your sales conversations. 

I call it a "million dollar sales pitch" because I've helped multiple companies generate over a million dollars in sales from using this tool. 

Use our SalesScript tool to create your own SalesScript and you'll start seeing your sales increase too.